The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) stood at $16.801 billion as of end-November 2003, slightly lower by 0.4 percent compared to the end-October level of $16.877 billion. The end-November 2003 GIR level was adequate to cover 4.7 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income. Using other reserve coverage measures, the current GIR level was equivalent to 2.8 times the country’s short-term debt based on original maturity and 1.4 times based on residual maturity. Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding short-term external debt on original maturity plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.
The slight decline in reserves during the period was mainly due to the debt service requirements of the National Government (NG) and the BSP. Such outflows were, however, offset by the deposit by the NG with the BSP of the proceeds from the flotation of its three-year Fixed Rate Bond partly to pre-fund its financing requirements for 2004 by taking advantage of the favorable market conditions.
The BSP’s net international reserves (BSP-NIR) level as of end-November 2003, inclusive of revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities, increased to $13.684 billion compared to $13.564 billion a month ago.